It is early morning and the alarm clock set of. By now you all know its Milow who take care of this task. It’s 4:00 am and the night was as it usual is before a race day. Restless and funny dreams and I'm a little relieved to finally get up and do something that I'm good at! Get tired through activity and play a games with my mind.
After a light breakfast, some fruit and tea, Melanie drive us to Snowmass Village. There, we wander around for a while before we find the right place, none of us had previously been there and none of us had asked where start was. We did not think it would be so big and so hard to find.
06:30, after the start was postponed they sent us of. 48 teams ran away. And literally ran away. These are real athletes, mountain guides that does it for motivation and professionals. The equipment and the appearance of everyone at the morning in-check gave a clue as to their quality. The equipment is worth mentioning again, however, a pair of skis weigh less than a milk carton and their boots are more flexible than traditional hiking boots. Everyone have special speed suits and everything is super light! Pretty geeky, but for a guy (and some girls) and after a few hours raceing, fully understandable.
The first pitch is quite mellow. Just one steep rise more or less. It took us 1:20 hours to the top of Snowmass. There waited a long traverse on a ridge that we got to ski. All had traveled the same track, so Himay and I took the opportunity to ride the incredible snow just a few feet off the track. So we got to do all day! =) In some places up to our thighs. After another short 40 minutes skin we stood on top of Butter Milk. After a flat but fun ride down to Highland the race began for real. Skateing over a bridge up to the first aid station in center town square. It started with a long and steep climb. Than it flattens out and just keeps on forever before you reach the top of Highland. 2/3 of the way up the wind peaked and it turned really cold on us . It all happens so fast so we both got frostbitten, one ear on Himay and my nose. The weather did not cooperate with us that day Here I got frustrated after I made a fatal mistake not being careful enough pushing my water back in to the camelback by blowing it, it froze and I had no more water readily available. Last pitch up is along another ridge, Big Big winds made this really tough and cold At the top we skied down the lee side, and after Aspen have had their best 2 days of powder skiing the days before we got some real goodies. More skinning waited down at the bottom; a short 40 minutes one took us up to this fun tree run we were about to do. It could be compared with Susabäcken in Åre or the skin track in Ophir, except it’s 10 times as long and a lot steeper.
Once down, our last skinning section where just infront of us. We past the houses were we stayed with Emily and Chason and got to the trailhead. A wonderful volunteer waited there with some banana bread and energy drinks. We happily eat it, had a quick chat and headed on. 7 miles (11,2 km) with a 3000 feet climb (1000 meter) took us 2,5 h. Following this old mining road we had in sight 5 other teams just a head of us. Once up at the top of Ajax, Sheraton, another volunteer that gave us great support through the whole day along the course gave us some hot chocolate and we skied down towards the finish line. We crossed it in 8,52,03 h. Both happy to finish! This was a great adventure fun with my dear friend Himay (Thanx Himay) and practice for our real mission on March 28. At midnight we start in Crested Butte and will do the same thing but skinning and skiing through the night with headlamps over to Aspen, finishing in the exact same place during the following day. It’s called The Grand Traverse!
At the finish line this guy walk up to me and says; - Is that you Staffan, we met in Cost Rica and The Ruta, remember me!? And I did, great to see you again Brian. =) It's a small world we live in! He just finish the race to.
Today I went out for some hours skiing under bluebird sky and bright sunshine! That for the first time in more than 2 weeks and you could feel that the spring might be on it's way. In the afternoon I also had time to go ice climbing with Daniel for some hours, so much fun!
|Top of Ajax and we just had an awesome cup of hot chocolate! This after we made her boyfriend really happy and he accused us for cheating. She laughed about it and gave us another cup with chocolate. =)|
|At the finish Himay just wanted to take his boots of!|
|When people saw our gear, ski and boots they looked at us and said; - You guys are strong, that's heavy.|
|Melanie a & Himay!|
|Daniel and I choping ice in Bear Creek today after some nice love skiing in the morning.|